Israel will deliver COVID-19 vaccines for about 1,000 Palestinian Arab medical workers in Judea and Samaria, Walla! News reported on Thursday.
According to the report, Defense Minister Benny Gantz contacted the Ministry of Health and the National Security Council to examine the gradual transfer of vaccine doses, which would make it possible to vaccinate the medical staff in the Palestinian Authority, in order to prevent the collapse of its healthcare system.
The urgent need for vaccines was conveyed from the PA to the office of the Coordinator of Government Operations in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun. Last month, 200 doses of vaccines were delivered to PA medical staff in Judea and Samaria, according to Walla!.
Officers in the Judea and Samaria Division of the IDF clarified on Thursday morning that there is a fear that the increase in cases among Palestinian Arabs will harm the medical effort to reduce the spread of the virus in Israel, due to the interaction in shopping centers and workplaces between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, as well as the fact that more than 100,000 Palestinian Arab workers go to work in Israel every week.
Israel has been criticized in international circles for failing to provide the PA with COVID-19 vaccines. This criticism has come from international organizations but also from US lawmakers from the Democratic party, most notably Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Joaquin Castro and Rep. Jamaal Bowman.
However, as former Ambassador Alan Baker pointed out in a recent interview with Arutz Sheva, Israel is in no way obligated to deliver vaccines to Palestinian Arabs or to residents of Gaza.
Israeli Arabs, including those residing in eastern Jerusalem, are being vaccinated as have almost all Arabs in Israeli prisons, including terrorists.
New Hope party chairman Gideon Sa’ar recently told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that Israel would be more than happy to provide vaccines to the PA, but that would only happen once it ensures that its own citizens have been vaccinated.
The PA, meanwhile, recently said it had signed agreements with four companies to supply COVID-19 vaccines.
It also announced it would purchase 100,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine.